Adam Interviews: Final Four referee Jeffrey Anderson

Anderson works with kids through CYO, AAU and the Boys and Girls Club

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - The millions glued to the South Carolina-Gonzaga Final Four game earlier this year saw Jeffrey Anderson doing wind sprints up and down the court in Phoenix, AZ.

He was doing what he was built do: refereeing an elite, high-octane basketball game.

It was a long way from courts at Rochester's North St. Rec Center, or North Street University as they called it, but talk to him about that professional highlight and you notice his roots are nearly has visible as his stripes.

“I’ve benefited from what everybody has done for me,” Anderson said. “I’ve had a lot of people help me in a lot of different situations.”

Anderson jumped into the basketball scene in the mid-80s at Franklin High School where he played point guard.

He played ball well after graduating, but it wasn’t until 1997 a friend suggested he pick up a whistle.

“I’ll tell you the sky has been the limit,” Anderson said.

Anderson had found his calling.

“A referee has a great processor, you have to see it one time and you have to make a decision, you’re either going to blow or you’re not,” he said. “If you’re an analytical thinker and you’re going to think about that, the play is going to have happened and left you. It sounds crazy, but I can actually slow it down in my mind and I can play it back.”

The NCAA world took notice and pulled him in.

He’s now called upon to referee key games like that one in Arizona.

“Show them why you got there, I wanted to show everybody that I belonged there,” he said of that game.

Anderson never forgets how he got there.

When not traveling he’s back in Rochester working with kids through CYO, AAU and the Boys and Girls Club.

He also remains involved with local officiating through the Rochester Basketball Officials Board 60.

To him, it has all come full circle.

“This is where I grew up, this is where I belong,” Anderson said.

It’s where Anderson found people who told him he could do anything.

He might one day take that encouragement to the opening toss-up of the championship game.

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